Essendon win by 34 points
The disappointing Demons went on to suffer their eight loss in nine weeks despite hanging with the Bombers until the ten minute mark of the last quarter. It was then that Essendon turned on the afterburners and kicked six goals to run out comfortable winners.
Peter Keenan, back in the senior side, lifted his young teammates with his presence - even finding time to mock Bombers ruckman Justin Madden before the opening bounce. The ruck division dominated by Justin and Simon Madden all day.
Melbourne led by ten points at quarter time and again at half time, but where they had so often rolled over in the second half during games in 1981 they fought on and stayed with the visitors until the six goal blast in the final term put them out of the game.
Best were Elshaug, who returned from injury with 32 kicks and 3.5, Gordon and Nettleford. Despite Elshaug being named best on ground he was fined $50 by the club for failing to pass to Mark Jackson who was on his own in the square and attempted to kick a goal instead late in the last quarter which he missed.
In a moment of ultimate understatement Barassi admitted his side wasn't going to make the finals but said that there were "good patches of good play" and that he was confident that there would be more as the side's skills increased.
Melbourne 19.19.133 d. Essendon 15.13.103
Goals - O'Dwyer 5, Dullard 3, O'Donnell 3, Whitford 2, Clayton 1, O'Brien 1, Osiruak 1, Todd 1, Tossol 1
Best - Todd, Hutchison, O'Dwyer
Reported - Adrian Dullard (striking)
Melbourne 14.19.103 d. Essendon 10.11.71
Goals - Fisher 6, Battiston 4, Bell 1, McCarthy 1, O'Sullivan 1, Tossol 1
Best - Battiston, Connelly, Fidge